The second course took place in Zagreb, Croatia, at the end of October/start of November 2021. Again 10 adult learners were involved and took part in ‘Getting Visual’ Training
This training allowed the learners to develop their skills in presenting training in a more visual way using a set or series of simple drawings enhancing the content of any lesson.
Learners also chances to visit another European country in their free time and upload the experience to TikTok
Aaron, a youth worker in the South Belfast Area Project, describes his experiences and how he made use of these new skills.
My experience in Croatia was a fantastic example of how strangers can come together and strive for better through international connection.
Throughout the week we had learned about the power and influence of idioms and metaphors, looking to break down the intricacies of the meaning behind them. As well as this, we were taught about the value of visualisation and graphics when presenting to groups as a tool to engage and emphasis the points being made.
Upon my return to Belfast, I made an effort to implement graphic tools in my work. I sourced art supplies to create reusable imagery that I still use in my programmes to this day. In my role as an areas worker within the Education Authority, my weekly leadership programme benefits from eye-catching, engaging imagery that is tailored to the session that I am delivering in order to keep focus and maintain challenging topics.
Through my Good Relations work, using humorous sketches can help defuse tension when discussion revolves around young people’s political and religious identity and can change the tide of conversation from hostile and distrustful, to significantly more constructive and peace orientated. This is echoed within my target monitoring and the numbers of young people involved in my Good Relations work has skyrocketed from Halloween to Christmas.
I have made use of conversations around metaphors with the young people in my Additional Needs groups, to help them understand and analyse the meaning behind the labels they face on a daily basis. This helps them to shatter misconceptions around their conditions and has inspired them to give a new definition to the characterisations that society has imposed upon them. There has been a sharp rise in numbers within this programme, potentially as a direct result of the teachings I have gained on my travel to Croatia.
To conclude, I’d like to take this opportunity in my report to thank Erasmus+ and Co-operation Ireland for enabling me to experience the culture of Croatia and for providing me this vital training., which has certainly boosted by capacity as a youth support worker. The training has encouraged me to think divergently about my approach to the sessions that I deliver and, according to the evidence I have gathered since, has made a great impact on the young people I work with. I hope to work with both of these organisations, as well as Lene, in the future.Aaron Smith – EA Youth Support Worker -South Belfast Area Project
Co-operation Ireland Staff Reconnect Day
The skills learned at this training were used by several of the CI staff during Co-operation Ireland’s ‘Reconnect Day’